I decided that I wanted to attempt to my my own wooden wedding ring, however since I don't have a lathe, I wasn't sure how easy or hard it would be. Turns out it only took me about an hour or so of actual working time to knock out my first ring. I've made several since trying out different patterns and wood types. If you have never had a chance to make something out of a pricer exotic wood, now's your chance since you don't need too much of it.
- Any hardwood - amount will vary depending on how many you want to make. I bought some mixed packs of (Zebrawood, Padauk and Ebony, varying in thickness from veneer to 3 inch).
- Wood glue
- Sandpaper ranging from 100 - 500grit
- Finishing - Any Polyurethane clear coat, or you can use an oil/wax finish, it's up to you.
- Cloth rags to apply clear coat or oil/wax
- Spade bit or hole saw (slightly smaller then your ring finger)
- Cut-off wheel for Dremel
- Sanding wheel for Dremel
- Buffing wheel for Dremel (optional)
Step 1: LAYER and BOND WOOD
- Take your wood and layer it, adding an even coating of glue in between each layer and clamp until dry (24hrs)
- If you want to use a solid piece of wood, then instead of layering, cut your wood down to the desired thickness of your ring. (mine was about 3/8" thick)
Step 2: THE INSIDE OF THE RING
We're going to start with the inside of the ring.
- Take your wood, and using a spade bit that is smaller then your ring finger, drill out a hole.
- Take your Dremel with the sanding wheel and start sanding the opening larger, being sure to apply even pressure and continuously moving the wheel around the inside of the ring.
- As you're doing this continuously check the size of the hole by sliding it onto your finger.
- You'll want to sand it until it fits onto your finger, and is not loose. You will be sanding the the inside more later so be sure you don't over sand at this step.
Step 3: OUTSIDE OF THE RING
Now that the inside is about 80% finished, it's time to focus on the outside.
- Start by taking your cut-off wheel with your Dremel and cut out the general shape of your ring.
- Take your sanding wheel and start shaping the outside of the ring until you have uniform thickness between the inside and outside diameter.
- You can add on chamfered or rounded edges at this time as well.
- Take your sandpaper and work from 100 through 500 sanding the inside and the outside of your ring, being sure to check fit along the way.
Step 4: FINISHING
Once you're finished sanding you have a few options to finish your ring. I first hit mine with a blowtorch to enhance the grain and add strength, but this is optional. Then I tried two different finishing techniques:
Beeswax / Tung oil
This was the first way I tried, I melted some beeswax and mixed it with tung oil, that I then applied to my ring. The downside to this is that it will need retreated every few months.
After a few months of reapplying I decided to go with polyurethane instead which seems to last much longer. For this I applied 4 coats, lightly sanding in between coats, and finishing it by using the buffing wheel on the Dremel.
There are other finishing methods as well that you could try, such as using a UV curable clearcoat that creates a much stronger finish. For me I'm going to stick with the Poly that I'll reapply as needed.
You can use this same method to create bracelets as well!
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